Living in a dream, and finally waking up.

“If you were food, you would be corn. I don’t know why, I just sense corn in you.” ― Lizbeth Mori

For many years, I have had many things that have been not quite right, always keeping me away. Away from the outdoors, away from the people, away from sound and light.

For many years, I also ate many pre-packaged foods, used commercial care products such as toothpaste. Many commercial products that contained corn. Many which no one would ever suspect having corn in them because the ingredient is not necessarily labeled as corn. There are 175+ ingredients that many would not think of immediately as corn that are in fact created from corn. No wonder the isometric hair study in King Corn showed us to be mostly made of corn, that’s all our diet is.

Although I recognize that many peoples all over the world have survived by having corn within their diet. Grains which stored well and easily cooked in the winter months. I won’t be continuing to ingest much, if any, if I can help it.

Although I will continue to celebrate the start of the grain harvest at Lughnasadh, I will personally be looking for other things about the season. Squashes? The end of another harvest that I enjoy? I am not sure at this time however I will figure it out before this coming Lughnasadh.

This will impact when I eat at pot-lucks, or eating out at restaurants (more than eating as close to primally as I was) but to feel better, to not hurt, to not have the mouth ache, I’ll do it.

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Creating Routine: Why not to feel bad if it takes longer than 21 days

We’ve all seen them “Change your life in 21 days” “28 day weight loss challenge” “30 day fitness challenge”. These three are the most common lengths of time that you will see within the confines of the internet as well as bookstore shelves. There is a reason for this.

In the 1950’s Dr Maltz noticed a trend among their plastic surgery patients; it took at least 21 days for them to feel normal looking at their new reflection. Dr Maltz also noticed that those who had had limbs removed were feeling a phantom limb reported doing so for at least 21 days. But here is where it gets tricky. Dr Maltz said at least.

This whole change yourself in 21, 28, 30 day craze started because after Dr Maltz published their findings in the 1960’s every self help guru got a hold of the paper and dropped the at least. People being able to change their whole lives in 21 days sounded more appealing and more promising than at least 21 days.

Lets fast forward as to why I’m writing this.

Back in January I did Mark Sisson’s 21 day primal blueprint challenge. Certain topics were really simple such as removing the legumes and grains from my diet. The part that wasn’t so simple, the exercise. I had it bashed into my head by my Dr at a younger age “if it hurts to move, stop that.” With my everything too much movement sets me into a major flare of pain and I can’t move for a while. Even to the point of having to borrow mum’s walker to get to the bathroom, so I have to be damn careful. However, I tried to keep up with the movement of the challenge as best I could. Feb 1 rolled around and I gave up the movement. The amount in the program was too much and I was exhausted, feeling like I was only doing the movement so I could get the points from the app. My entire adult life I did have “if it hurts stop that” told to me though when I’d go out and have fun with friends or go for a walk however so I haven’t been very active. Every day was just too much.

Every week though doesn’t work with me, I don’t feel time pass and therefore don’t know when it’s been a week. Every other day tends to not work either. I haven’t felt time pass in years so I never remember if an event was yesterday or a week ago. I am also the biggest procrastinator in the world and will say “Oh I’ll do it tomorrow.” Even sometimes with my devotional schedule I do this.

Back to the info at the top.

According to an article published by Huffington post that original number of 21 days can be much more like 66 for the average person to form a habit. No wonder a lot of people fail their weight loss goals if everyone is thinking that lasting change can be made in 21! http://www.huffingtonpost.com/james-clear/forming-new-habits_b_5104807.html here is the article if you’d like to read it.

This doesn’t just affect weight loss goals though. It can affect meditation goals, devotional routine, remembering to eat 3 meals a day, brushing your teeth. EVERYTHING.

So don’t beat yourself up next time you’re failing at getting into a regular routine of doing something. We all have our hangups with regards to getting into routines. Some of us take longer than others and that is OK!

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Visions through pain

I have a tendency to like to experiment with different ways of entering trance. Many of my experimental ways have been through pain from kink related activities. Each time something else comes through and each time I am drained a little less the days following. I am one that likes to try different modalities to reaching trance states, many which wouldn’t be tried by the regular individual but that I find highly interesting.

When I first started experimenting with different trance modalities I started with the basics of drumming and auditory confusion. Each gave a different type of trance state, each with its own rewards and drawbacks.

I found for me because I have such a flighty attention span that I need the drumming to be going rather fast instead of the typical beat for sonic driving. Auditory confusion fixed this slightly but it took a very long time for me to get used to not trying to focus on one ear. Each one has given a sense of floating down a river though.

Inflicted pain however, drives my mind down. It quietens the flighty and gives something to focus on other than the pain I am in on a regular basis. The days after can be definitely not fun as my body recovers but I find that I drop harder and faster from this type than auditory ways. Many of the typical things that are used within the kink scene have been used on me while doing these investigations. From floggers, to crops, to paddles, to canes. Even ranging to fire cupping. Each one has its ups and downs for this type of usage.

Floggers drop me the fastest, as long as they are a deep heavy flogger. They quieten the mind and allow my boundaries to fall. The energy level of the top (the person inflicting the pain) also has to be of a certain compatibility with mine or I do not relax properly for the state to induce. Crops and canes are a much stingier pain type and make me come up out of the body vs going down into the earth, which intrigues me. I haven’t had much chance to work with this one as much but I have the option to. Paddles are a great one for bringing me back up out of the trance if the top needs my input as my body isn’t as much of a fan of them. Fire cupping however, this is also another one where it’s a relaxation of down into the earth. I almost feel as if I become one with the ground and do not want to move an inch.

The types that drive me down tend to end in more visual appearances while the top end sting gives me more auditory. It will be interesting to see what other top end pain items do with regards to these endeavors.

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My history with one of my Patrons

As some of you know, I work with the Morrigu. For me that triplicate consists of The Morrigan, Macha, and Badb. Morrigan and I and Badb and I have a decent working relationship currently. We give and take to and from each other and it works quite well. Macha on the other hand there are trust issues between her and I that have not yet been broken.

When I first started down the druidic path Macha was my patron. She was there for everything, until I did something really stupid because I was so new. I pissed her off and as such when she came back it was much more aloof that she had been in the past, and still is more aloof although we are working on it.

What happened was I had been asked to work a specific part in a Plynteria ritual which is a Hellenic ritual to Athena. The two powers meditation was done at the beginning of the rite and I had screaming in my head the whole time not allowing me to drop into trance like normal. I did not take this as the warning that I should have not to continue with my original part. You see, I had taken on the role of one of the 3 women to wash and re-dress the statue as part of the main honouring of Athena. Macha was not a fan of this plan and tried to stop it, it was her screaming. I continued on the rite as planned but afterwards was totally out of it. I sat quietly not really talking to anyone after ritual, and drove home in silence, at the time I loved the radio when I was driving.

I called Koveth as him and I were very close if not dating at the time of this ritual however he had been spending time with his best friend and could not help me get out of the fog that I was in. I then remembered how a friend had been brought out of a possession incident and went for a shower to allow the water to purify my body.

I almost immediately went to sleep after the shower. In the morning Macha was gone. She wouldn’t answer when I called to her, my offerings were molding in twice as much time as the essence had not been taken, it was BAD.


Fast forward to The Morrigan taking over as my patron. Initially it was just her. One day I got the urge to offer to all three of them and so I did. I cried tears of joy when Macha actually answered. It’s been a few years since that day but as I tend to work with her only when her sisters are around at this point I haven’t gotten the one on one back with her yet. She at least is seeing that if her sisters put a kibosh on me doing something (Morrigan saying no more Hellenic rituals for me without prior permission) that I am actually listening.

I think this is what is gaining her trust…

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Not understanding society.

There are many sections of society I don’t understand. A lot of these I went from being a part of to not understanding why I was doing it and just stopping all together. If I listed them all many of you would be shocked at the things I no longer just “get” like we are all supposed to. Some of the big ones though include:

  • caring about celebrities like you know them
  • caring what other people think of us/what we wear/how we act etc
  • most music and TV
  • gendered pronouns/gender separation for non-medical things

Caring about celebrities like you know them: this is a big one. I don’t understand how people know all the celebrity names, their birth dates, their family history. But they don’t know their neighbour. People care about the lives of celebrities like they are their best friend and don’t even know the person they call their best friend as well as they know all this trivia.
I truly don’t see the point.

Caring what other people think of us/what we wear/how we act etc: this is a huge one for me. My friend summarized it as “You don’t get the superficial media creating stuff….because it is all not real!!” I don’t get wearing a certain clothing brand, I don’t get wearing the shiniest thing. Hell, I don’t understand brushing your hair just to look nice for other people. My mother always says “you should look nice for yourself.” Why? what’s the point of it? In ancient times I get it, it was easier to keep lice in check with tamed hair. Now, now it is purely aesthetics, which I don’t understand. Why do so many people care what the others think? Why don’t they act the way they want? Why are some people labeled childish for liking colour and actually having a good time? I don’t understand it.

This last one is a large thing at pagan rituals I have found. Everyone has to have the nicest robe or the prettiest stole. Personally, when I do ritual work, I prefer to be as comfy as possible, so for me that means skirts. Since I’m normally an officiant, or if I am doing readings I will wear a bra but comfort is key otherwise how do you get the energy to flow if it is getting stuck in one part of your body that is itchy or uncomfortable.

Most music and TV: My choices for tv is the news, after the news it can be turned off for the day till the next round of news. I used to watch shows like Criminal Minds, and NCIS but began to just hear them as noise. Why do we not go listen to nature, listen to the silence any more? why is there noise 24/7? we don’t even recognize the noises any more.

To that point many people cannot discern a bird by its call. Nor can they tell the difference between the trees other than by leaf shape. I would love to go back to a time where everyone was outside, living off the land, and actually knowing the land again, it’s noisy enough out there you just have to listen for it.

Gendered pronouns/Gender separation for things that are non-medical: This drives me bonkers. Why do we have to distinguish between people. I understand for medical forms where genetics may play a role in certain issues (prostate cancer vs ovarian cancer for example) but for general every day conversation they do not need to be segregated. We have perfectly good general terms of they, their, and theirs, works for everyone! Now, this does not mean I will not respect my friend’s choices of which pronoun to use, I will honour my friends to the ends of the earth. However, I don’t understand why they have been segregated in the first place. We are all just children of the Earth Mother, residing with the Spirits of Nature upon her. Why do we have to delineate ourselves and make groups within our species?

All in all, I don’t really understand much of society any more. Can I just win the lottery and go buy a farm?

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Divisions of the Cosmos within ADF

There are a few different ways the cosmos can be divided, each one is dependant upon the hearth culture you are working in.

The one seen most frequently in ADF ritual is Underworld, Mid-world, and Heavens. This viewpoint is very western Indo-European and is frequently seen in the Hellenic hearth culture. Although it is also seen in the make up of the nine worlds of the Norse. Another way to see the cosmic make up is Terrestrial, Atmospheric, and Celestial. This is the viewpoint of the Vedics. In this cosmic layout there is no underworld and the ancestors reside with the Celestial beings in that realm. The third cosmic layout that Dangler mentions in Nine Central Tenets of Druidic ritual is that of Land, Sea, and Sky. This is the layout which I am most familiar with as this is the more Celtic focused of the three cosmic layouts. This one, while not a vertical axis like the others is a horizontal axis dividing what the first one denotes as the Mid-world. Dangler states “this triplicity is clearly a cosmic division” and due to it’s triplicity I would have to agree.

The simple why are they broken up this way is easy: because our ancestors broke them up that way. Was it something they saw in how the people in their area lived? Is it just the differences in the myths that give us the different structures? We may truly never know what we do know is that the triplicity is key.

I see many ADF druids working a combination of these cosmos. They will have the center of fire, well, and tree, correlating to sky, sea, and land, which will also correlate to heavens, underworld, mid-world with each group corresponding to the last working a triplicate cosmos with their tiplicity of cosmos. This would give more of a centre such as the Zuni had in their villages and would actually show the centre more easily. As Elliade indicated “religion itself is an orienting force, one that gives us a focal point from which to make sense of the world. When we are in a profane state, one that is not sacred, we have no point of reference.” (Dangler)By the centres giving us that state of reference we are able to breach that state and enter another.

 

Dangler, Michael J. “Nine Central Tenets of Druidic Ritual.” Ár NDraíocht Féin: A Druid Fellowship. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Oct. 2014. <https://www.adf.org/articles/cosmology/nine-tenets.html&gt;.

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Weeks of the Ancestors – they begin…

I’ve been looking to add things to my weeks of the ancestors. Things I’d never thought of from different cultures, things I just never thought of. So to do this I’ve been asking some friends about things I should add.

One of them said telling stories of my ancestors.

The thing is a) I have no one to tell the stories to b) my family doesn’t like to talk much about things the others have done. A lot of them don’t understand the remembering the dead thing. As my mother has said “they are dead, so what?”. Because of where a lot of my family is buried I cannot go to their graves, my one grand parent in ottawa, 2 others in Chapleau, and the last is still alive. My great uncle that I knew is up in Thunder Bay, as you see there is a lot of distance that my family has traveled over time. As I get the chance to visit these areas I do go check on the graves, ensure there is nothing wrong and no damage has been done, it’s the best I can do.

However I went to see my Grandma on a visit, I hadn’t seen her in a while and I was missing her birthday dinner, so since it was her birthday visit I chose not to dwell on the past for her. When I was about to leave, while she was indisposed I was looking at the pictures around her room and saw one of her brother Armond. I have been working on a calendar of birth and death dates to bring my worship through the rest of the year and found the one of him. It had his birthday and date he joined the ancestors. Feb 25th and Feb 9th respectively. Apparently that was the information I was supposed to go find!

So he has now been added and things slowly evolve as I look for a better time than a week after my Grandma’s birthday to ask her more questions.

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